Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Suraj » 31 Jan 2009 06:45

India has by far the best record of any Asian team in Davis Cup. No one else comes close. The only contenders are the Japanese, who have one final appearance in 1921, while we've three final appearances in the professional era.

I wish we had not been so moralistic in 1974 and refused to play South Africa. It would have been justice to beat their white-only team and rub BJ Vorster's face in the mud of South African soil.

In 1966 and 1987, we were unfortunate enough to run into away finals against the best teams of those eras - Australia and Sweden respectively.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 31 Jan 2009 08:49

Suraj wrote:I wish we had not been so moralistic in 1974 and refused to play South Africa. It would have been justice to beat their white-only team and rub BJ Vorster's face in the mud of South African soil.

I was initially of the opinion that we should have played. We would have won at least one etc. But given the circumstances, that was the best decision. Leave all political decisions to GoI. Playing apartheid era Suud Afrika is definitely a political decision. We were leading the NAM then, we had IG ruling the roost with privy purse abolition etc. Remember who the non-apartheid era SA cricket team chose to visit first: It may have been a predominant white team led by Clive Rice and Ali Bacher with no black players, but then the ANC knew which side to pick first. Sports, after all, is just another cogwheel to politics. The land of Gandhi need not stoop so low for a Davis Cup.

Further, the AILTA at that point was essentially a congress clone. Like with the recent citizenship issue, the AITA just needs to conform to rules set by GoI. When they get the GoI dole out and expect Arjuna/Padma/Drona awards for players' performance and represent India in bold fonts, thats only fair.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 31 Jan 2009 10:26

Hail the first title of the season, Yuki Bhambri lifts the jrs title
Yuki Bhambri IND (1) beat Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas GER 6-3 6-1

Hockey news from elsewhere

The current global economic crisis has robbed the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh of glamour team South Korea. Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary Hashim Mohd Yusoff said the Koreans, who were regulars in the annual invitational tournament, had replied that a lack of funds had forced them to skip this year’s meet, to be held in Ipoh from April 3-12. “The Korean Hockey Federation will hold their BGM (biennial general meeting) soon and it’s learnt that they will form a new committee, who would want to cut costs due to the credit crunch,” said Hashim.

To date, only New Zealand (world No. 7), Pakistan (8th), India (11th) and Egypt (20th) have confirmed their participation together with Malaysia (15th). This will be Egypt’s first appearance since the tournament’s inception in 1983. Hashim said they hoped to have seven teams for the tournament and that invitations had been sent to Ireland and Japan. “If Japan and Ireland decline, we will make do with five teams,” said Hashim. The Malaysian national team, under coach Tai Beng Hai, will use the Azlan Shah Cup as part of their preparation for the Asia Cup in Dubai from May 8-15. The champions of the Asia Cup will win an automatic berth to the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. If Malaysia fail to win the tournament in Dubai, they will have to compete in a qualifying tournament in November.

I read this also elsewhere

"We can't go below Egypt, who are ranked 20th in the world, to keep some standard in the tournament. And if Japan and Ireland both decline, we will have to make do with five teams." The national juniors, preparing for the Junior World Cup, can't be included in the Azlan Shah cast, as they have a European Tour planned at the same time. But some quarters feel that the juniors should be included into the Azlan Shah Cup, as the invited teams are not highly ranked, and will be good sparring partners.

I hope the Indian team tramples the Malaysian senior team just to put these dumbass Malaysians in place.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Vipul » 31 Jan 2009 18:09

Bhupati and Knowles have lost in the final.
Congrats Yuki.Has the next flag bearer arrived?
Between Ramanathan and Ramesh Krishnan and Paes and Yuki. India has won all the four major Junior tiltles.This looks like a dream run for our tennis. Paes reaches the semi finals in the doubles, Mahesh reaches the final in both the the doubles event, Sania reaches the mixed doubles final with Mahesh while Yuki makes it to the semis in the Juinor doubles event in addition to winning the Junior title :) .

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 01 Feb 2009 11:11

Sania and Bhupathi now playing mixed finals... First set won 6-3. Second set taken 6-1. Finally, an all Indian mixed win!!

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby sum » 01 Feb 2009 13:48

During the match, there were no "advantage and then game" after deuce(40-40). Instead, at 40-40, the next point itself decided the winner. is this a new rule in Mixed doubles/tennis? I am bit out of touch recently and hence, the Q!!! :oops:

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2009 21:59

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 02 Feb 2009 01:54

Punjab Gold cup. First a 2-0 win against lowly Nzl. Then a high scoring 4-4 draw against a Dutch team that sent back Taeke Takema and Van der Nooijr :((. I am so tired of looking at the score chart that says conceded a goal in the last 10 mins. Conceded a goal in the last 4 minutes, last minute etc. How many times will the Indians snatch a draw from victory and defeat from a draw? How many effing times? I am just so goddamn tired. Tomorrow is rest day followed the next day by a match against Germany. Then one more round of meet every other team before the grand final is held on Feb 9. Some analysis will follow soon...

Best thing Sania could have aspired for coming back from an injury. Match practice with someone by the side, the boost in confidence. Hope she leverages this win to climb the ATP charts sooner than normal.

India's tennis fraternity has no doubt that the success of Indian players at the Australian Open would usher in a new era for the game in the country. Indian players — Yuki Bhambri, Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi — put up a dazzling show, bringing home two of the nine titles at stake at the first Grand Slam event of the year. Yuki won the junior boys singles title yesterday while Sania-Bhupathi combine lifted the mixed doubles title, first for an Indian team.

India's Davis Cup coach Enrico Piperno says after seeing Sania and Bhupathi's performance in Melbourne, he was sure the Indian mixed doubles team is now capable of winning many more Grand Slams. Piperno said Sania's improved game and fitness and Bhupathi's red-hot form makes them a lethal pair now. "This is really exciting. Mahesh is playing impeccable tennis at the moment and Sania has complemented him all through. I watched them playing the semis and I knew that they will win the title this time," Piperno told PTI from Perth, Australia. "This (win) will give a lot of confidence to Sania and will help her when she takes the court for singles. Confidence is always the key and I see them winning more and more titles this year," he added.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 03 Feb 2009 04:17

The spark was evident on Sunday evening. Only it should not die. A bunch of players who have set out to gain identity in the world of hockey left the Sector 42 stadium here in a trance with a captivating contest that makes hockey a spectacle. The Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament is being seen as a platform to launch the Indian team’s campaign for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. ‘No place for history,” asserted coach Harendra Singh as he analysed the team’s 4-4 draw with The Netherlands.

A near-packed stadium was an indication of the game’s popularity in these parts of the country. “There is hope for hockey,” reiterated an ever-optimistic former India defender Pargat Singh. And matches like the one on Sunday when India slammed home three goals in the span of four minutes go far in strengthening the efforts of some stalwarts. What if India has not beaten The Netherlands even once in the past 12 years. It has been engaged in some stirring contests with the Dutch team. One such came in the Champions Trophy at Amstelveen in 2007 when India lost to The Netherlands 3-4. “Last evening we played close to that form of Amstelveen. We could have done better,” said Harendra.

What brought about the transformation as India overcame a sluggish start to rattle a confident rival? “I have assured the boys that none of them would be under any pressure to perform. I have given them the security of their place in the team. I think it has worked to an extent,” observed the coach. On the eve of the match against Germany, the team’s coach sounded assured even as there were concerns about goalkeeper Baljit Singh’s fitness.

My take on "What brought about the transformation?" is: What BS transformation is the person talking about. The Indian team was not a bad team before. It just had a bunch of idiots at the top (both Indian and RicC) constraining Joaquim Carvalho so that JC could nt do what he thought was best. Whenever JC wanted to do something, KPS G would say something or the ad-hoc committee once he left. Besides that, form in hockey is temporary. Unless a team keeps playing high voltage matches, there is no way to get better. We played the Santiago qualifier and then Azlan last year, no more. What form do they expect folks to have? This year, we already visited Argentina and we are playing the Gold cup now. And we will play more. So will the junior team. So the omissions and commissions of the men at the top is piled on the team and they are asked about transformation. What a farce!

National selector Aslam Sher Khan is also strongly in favour of having a “local coach” in Indian hockey. His announcement that “a foreign coach wouldn’t make any difference to Indian hockey” came at a function held here on Monday to launch the Hockey 2008 Year Book. A member of the 1975 World Cup-winning team, Aslam echoed India captain Sandeep Singh’s views on the subject. Sandeep had recently said that there was no need for India to have a foreign coach even as the government was in the process of finalising the appointment of Spanish coach Jose Brasa.

Aslam claimed, “The Indian coaches understand the system better and are doing a great job. If you want a foreigner, then let him come and give technical inputs. A foreigner cannot change things overnight. I favour an Indian coach and he should get a long term.” The former defender wanted hockey to go the cricket way. He said: “Hockey needs a Lalit Modi. The game can do with someone who can popularise hockey and market it.”

Finally, someone realizes that whatever ill-will they may have towards Lalit Modi, he has done a great job for Indian cricket. Now that Lalit Modi seems close to resigning at the IPL desk, can we have his services for PHL? If the hockey bozos had any brain, they would go and beg him to come here and do something. After all, who does nt like a challenge like this?

SBajwa, I could nt find any link for the telecast of Punjab gold cup. But a poor man's live feed: Do check out information broadcast from Stick2hockey. They have live commentaries. There are still 5 matches to go.

Tuesday’s fixtures: The Netherlands vs New Zealand (4.30 p.m.), India vs Germany (6.30 p.m.) IST

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Vasu » 03 Feb 2009 13:07

Ah, I knew you'd be following the Punjab Gold Cup here. Its shocking that this tournament has almost no buzz in the media at all. All 4 are hockey powerhouses and are playing in India and no whimper.

Will try to catch the India-Germany game this evening!

Stan, India won the first two games in Argentina and then lost the last two. Their habit of conceding is not just limited to one game. :(

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 03 Feb 2009 13:22

Vasu wrote:Ah, I knew you'd be following the Punjab Gold Cup here. Its shocking that this tournament has almost no buzz in the media at all. All 4 are hockey powerhouses and are playing in India and no whimper.

India won the first two games in Argentina and then lost the last two. Their habit of conceding is not just limited to one game.

The Germans have brought a junior team to India. The Dutch had Taeke Takema and Van der Nooijir in their team, but since the FIH objected to having > 18 players in a team, the Dutch chose to send these two star players back. What remains of the Dutch team in India is what I would call a junior team + 1 or 2 seniors. The Indian and Kiwi teams are at full strength. Btw, Nzl is not a powerhouse -- it is a crappy team and was a crappy team. The Indians will win this one provided they dont pull some magical last minute meltdowns. Well, the Indians can be beaten only by their own damn hands -- oops sticks.

There is very little buzz, this is supposed to be a big tournament given the fact that there has been nothing worthy of calling a tournament for over 1 1/2 yrs. Even the Argentina tour was poorly reported. The Argentina tour came in the wake of a long lull in terms of match play. I read somewhere that folks were so jaded in the last game, which essentially means the Argentinian runners tired our players. But then there was a 1 day gap between the games, so it is hard to explain it that way. Just call it "the Poland effect" -- ever since that fateful game in Sydney 9 years back, its been like this. The silverline is that Punjab crowds are thronging to Sector 42 stadium -- the DDM is MIA. Even cricket news is not getting much attention these days. Thats what happens when the DDM focusses on Shri Rama sene.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby VickersB » 04 Feb 2009 00:49

Ok I'll try and fill in Stans' void:
http://sports.timesofindia.indiatimes.c ... 071451.cms
India stun Germany in Punjab Gold Cup hockey
3 Feb 2009, 2024 hrs IST, Aritra Mukhopadhyay,TNN
Print EMail Discuss Share Save Comment Text:
CHANDIGARH: After the 4-4 draw against the Netherlands on Sunday, India coach in-charge Harendra Singh had said that not earning a single penalty

Dilip Tirkey celebrates after scoring a goal against Germany during the Punjab Gold Cup in Chandigarh. (AP Photo)
corner had cost them a win. On Tuesday, he was a happy man following India's 2-0 triumph over world and Olympic champions Germany in their final match of the first leg of the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 04 Feb 2009 01:24

Hehhe, Indian DDM at full flow... India "stunned" Germany should be read as India won a match they were expected to win. Anyone following this Indian team seriously will know what is stunning and what is normal. For the record, I would define stunning as NOT conceding a last 10 minute goal in a stretch of 6-7 matches. India winning is normal, hope the DDM puts some faith in this team.

Aslam Sher Khan batted for Harendra a few days back saying an Indian coach is ok, but then he also made an asinine statement that players positions will be reviewed. Now Harendra has thrown a curve ball back at ASK, which I dont agree with at all. While Harendra Singh has a point, he has cheapened Aslam Sher Khan in many sense. ASK has done enough for Indian hockey that he does nt have to prove anything else, yes, he is a politician and so has to balance multiple interests, but that does nt mean he cant get a clean chit on the hockey front.
Selector Aslam Sher Khan's comment on senior players had India's hockey coach Harendra Singh in tears tonight. After his wards beat Germany 2-0 in the ongoing Punjab Gold Cup, Harendra lashed out at Khan for his comments that selection of senior players in the national team would be reviewed. Harendra said Khan's irresponsible behaviour was unacceptable and it had "affected the morale of the team." The coach questioned the timing of Khan's comments and alleged that he was raking up the issue just to get media attention ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. {Possible perhaps, but the timing was the only thing that was bad in ASK's statement}

"What is his contribution to Indian hockey? Moreover, what is his business to say such things in the middle of a tournament and when the team is performing well?" Harendra asked. {What the fck is Harendra Singh saying here. Wiki first para on ASK: Aslam Sher Khan, a former Indian hockey player, was a member of the Indian team. In the 1975 World Cup held at Kuala Lumpur, Aslam Sher Khan helped Indian Hockey Team to win the gold medal. He as a member of Indian team also participated in Munich Olympics held in the 1972. Aslam Sher Khan has also been a Congress Member of Parliament and a Union Minister as well. In December 1997, Aslam Sher Khan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He has also authored an autobiography, `To Hell with Hockey`.}

"His comments have affected the team's morale. I will not accept such things," he said. {Yes, he also batted for you, did you read that?} Khan, a former Member of Parliament, had been quoted by a section of the media today as saying that national selectors would take a call on some senior players, recalled recently in the team for the ongoing tournament. {What is wrong with that? Did the DDM dig in further as to whether it was performance based or based on age or something like that}

Among those under scanner are Deepak Thakur, Arjun Halappa, Dilip Tirkey and Vikram Pillay. {This is what happened during today's match: "Vikram Pillay taught a lesson or two to aspiring youngsters on how to retrieve tense situations. The whole team deserved the victory for the combined effort, but Baljit and Vikram outshone the rest. India rested VS Vinaya and VR Raghunath for today's match." This ASK comment looks more and more like a ToI plant, just like they always do. I cant believe ASK's comments have been blatantly twisted to create angst and ill-will with HS. ASK batted for HS, said something more and HS picked just that something more, or is that something more an indication of ToI's imaginative plant. Will have to wait for more news on this, but I am willing to bet my paycheck on ToI being an oiseaule yet again.}

Harendra said that after great pains the team, which had touched its lowest ebb last year, was back on the revival course and "such comments will only do damage". He also said that Spanish coach Jose Brasa should immediately be appointed Indian team's coach. {And this is HS saying that, and if Jose Brasa was not to have been appointed, HS would have been in charge. That, dear folks, is Indian hockey. We have folks who bat and work hard in unsung ways to ensure Indian hockey gets normal. And we have ToI planting stuff and insinuating all and sundry. Shame on you, Toi and DDM, in general.}

"I am prepared to work under Brasa. His appointment should be done immediately as it will be good for the team," he said. However, when contacted, Khan said that Harendra was overreacting and should behave maturely. "Although, the media report may have played up my comments but that does not mean the coach-in-charge should react and behave in such a manner. I know that my intention is positive. I have always wanted that the team should win. We should have hunger to win. History remembers only those who win. Nobody cares for losers," he said. {ASK has hit the nail, HS should nt have over-reacted irrespective of ToI planting fights. Is there a way to sue ToI? I am getting so irritated with them, this is far too much for me. Planting news is downright evil, and they are doing it blatantly and causing rifts too. Are they in the paycheck of FIH?!}

From the Davos diary by Ken Rogoff

By far the chirpiest gathering I attended in Davos was on my last night at a private dinner populated largely by top Indian journalists, senior policymakers, and leading Indian businesspeople. Of course, people were very excited about the academy award nominations for “Slumdog Millionaire,” not to mention the stellar presence at Davos of World Chess champion Vishy Anand (who recently defeated Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik to cement his title).

I was bummed that I did not find out that world chess champion Vishy Anand was around until too late — at the India dinner — but happily got to congratulate him on the phone. I retired from high-level chess decades ago, and had never met him. Vishy politely claimed he had played over some of my games in Chess Informator when he was a kid; he is famous for having a prodigious memory. ... -of-india/

Seven laws of effective hockey, by Shiv Jagday

Everything in the universe is governed by one law or the other, and so is field hockey. Here are 7 core laws of the game, which will enable one to play hockey smartly and effectively. Whenever any individual player, or the hockey team as a whole, steps away from these laws, it diminishes their effectiveness. Of course, there are times during the run of play when there can be exceptions to these laws. These laws also govern the game of football (soccer) and basketball. In my opinion, these sports employ some, if not all the laws, to a higher degree and effectiveness than field hockey. The 7 laws for playing effective hockey are given below:

1) Ball Travels Faster than the Player: This is a simple law and does not need much explanation. Ironically, one sees this law under-employed, misused or even abused during the heat or run of the game. Ignoring this law can hurt even the most skillful of teams, when they do not abide by it.

2) Play One-Touch Hockey: In other words, play a first-time passing game. This requires the players, and the team as a whole, to be on their toes and keep moving. By the same token, it makes things harder for the opposing team to keep up with this constant, fluid movement. Yes, there will come opportunities to run with the ball a few yards, and end up with a shot on a goal. Go for it when the timing is optimum. Cross-sport Example: The Brazilians are the masters of one-touch football; their winning record in world football provides clear validation of this law.

3) The Passer is Free 9 Times out of 10: Go ahead and observe this law during your next game or practice. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how true this law is. It is indeed surprising that teams don't take maximum advantage of this law, and end up getting into trouble time and time again.

4) Attack from the Right, Score from the Left: This is a powerful concept, and is employed diligently by the top-tier teams. Many key field goals, in matches of critical importance, have been initiated from a pass by the right-in, floating in and making space for the leading centre-forward. There is always room for some flexibility in this law. Teams that have a strong left-in prefer to attack from the left. For example Pakistan with left-in Shahbaz Ahmed in the 1994 Sydney World Cup, and Teun de Nooijer of Netherlands in recent times. Cross-sport Example: In the 1962 and 1990 Men's World Cup Football finals, the winning goals in both finals came through usage of the above law. {My edit: But was nt the 90 football final goal scored by Andreas Brehme off a penalty? I am not sure if the lead up came by this strategy} Same was the case in the 2007 Women's World Cup football final in China, where Germany scored the winning field goal against Brazil using this law, and went on to become the first team to repeat as Women's World Cup football champions.

5) Play in Triangles, Utilising Width and Depth of the Field: The concept here is to divide the whole team into mini zones, viz. Right-side triangle, Left-side triangle, Midfield triangle, etc., and use these zones to carry out offensive or defensive strategies during the run of play. A useful tip here while building an attack is to use Right-side and Left-side triangles in the ratio of 60:40. Also, as was the case for Law #4, there is scope for flexibility in this law too. Looking at the big picture, the usage of triangle zones makes effective use of the width and depth of the whole field, in order to create and exploit space.

6) Keep Switching Focus from Left to Right, and Vice Versa: When the ball moves from the Left (left-in) to the Right (right-in or right-out), opponents are caught shifting from one side of the field to the other. In case they are not nimble enough to recover or react to the ball movement, they can be caught in the middle, thus leaving wide open gaps to be exploited. This concept is employed to a high degree by the top teams in the world, by moving the ball from side to side via the back field, which in many cases comprise four defensive players.

7) Use Centre-Half and Sweeper Back as Base-Axle of Team: Before the No-Offside rule was introduced in hockey in 1996, the centre-half was the key player of the team. The Midfield triangle of centre-half, right-in and left-in used to be the base around which the whole team rotated and functioned. Now, without an off-side rule in effect, the Sweeper Back plays a key role in the team, in conjunction with a 4-person defensive backfield comprising Right Half, Right Fullback, Left Fullback and Left Half.

As coaches, we tend to think a lot. A zillion thoughts dance in our mind, flitting in and out. We need to let go the majority of these thoughts, but capture some key ones. It is always beneficial to jot down thoughts on a piece of paper or in a notebook. Writing down thoughts allows for future reference, which will be especially important if they pertain to the above laws of the game. A useful tip here is to note down the thoughts/ideas that come to your mind while bathing - where one is in a most serene state of mind. As an example, the legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus got some of his most creative golfing thoughts while in the shower. Of course, the question does arise as to how one can jot down thoughts while bathing? This is a dilemma which one needs to solve creatively and gracefully. Cheers!

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 04 Feb 2009 18:59

India held European champions Holland 2-2 in a hard fought high voltage encounter that marked the first match in the second leg of the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday night. India, who drew the Dutch 4-4 in the first leg, fell back twice but came back strongly to hold their mighty rivals. Both India and Holland are on eight points from four matches and with two more ties remaining, have almost assured themselves of a title showdown. Olympic champions Germany and New Zealand are on two points each after four matches.

The Dutch today earned four penalty corners and managed to convert one while India could not come up with any. The visitors took the lead three minutes before the breather. Jeroen Hertzberger caught the Indian defence napping and his reverse flick found the back of the net. However, they could not hold on to the lead for long as India equalised within two minutes of resumption. Shivender Singh collected a long ball from Dilip Tirkey and went past rival goalkeeper Stockmamm before sending the ball into the net.

Holland earned their first penalty corner in the 16th minute of the second half but failed to convert it. However, they earned another one in the very next minute and Geert Jan Derikx sent the rebound past goalkeeper Baljit Singh to give Holland a 2-1 lead. Playing before home crowd, the Indians regrouped and levelled the score in the 20th minute of the second half. Prabhjot Singh sounded the post after receiving a long pass from skipper Sandeep Singh. Goalkeeper Baljit, who put up an impressive performance against Germany on Tuesday, was in the thick of action today as well as he effected crucial blocks including warding off four penalty corners.

The Dutch earned their third and fourth penalty corners towards the end of the match but an alert Baljit thwarted them. Holland dominated the first 15 minutes of the first half and had most of the ball possession. Thereafter, India relied on counter attacks that put the opposition under pressure. Indian forwards Prabhjot, Rajpal, Gurbaj and Shivender led the attacks, but failed to achieve much success. Shivender missed a golden opportunity in the 30th minute when he failed to trap a pass from Tushar Khandekar near the striking area.

The ongoing Punjab Gold Cup may well enter the record books as one of the well-followed and well organized hockey events in India. Indian results, crowd and media response so far has been satisfactory. Not often did India get invited to invitational tournaments in which both Europe’s superpowers, Germany and Holland, participate. That both the teams brought some new faces cannot out rightly take away the credit that India owes. As the first leg came to close, India stands a fair chance of reaching the finals. It is a surprising bit of reality that India hardly organizes tournaments on its soil. Despite the tall claim of country’s National Game, the public hardly get to see Indian hockey teams in tournaments on Indian soil. Drab test series are a different proposition. In the last 15 years, India barely organized 12 tournaments!!!

Therefore success of this tournament is very important, more so against the fact that the Punjab Gold Cup will well become an annual affair from now onwards. India might be loathe to organize tournaments, still, India won medal of any hue in almost all the tournaments staged on its soils except twice (2005 and 1996 Champions Trophy) in the last 15years. There is therefore every possibility now India will be among the medals, if not the top slot. Before the tournament, Chief Coach Harendra made it clear that if India wins this tournament that will be a turning point for the Indian hockey. While elaborating his view, he emphasized the need for giving the public a boost, which they deserve after the Chile chiller. Quite true.

Therefore, it is hoped both the parties – coach Harendra and selector Aslam Sher Khan, whose view claimed to have upset a section of senior players in the team – can exercise restraint. The current Indian team has two managers, Col. Balbir Singh and Ashok Kumar (Technical Manager) and it is time for them to extent whatever support chief coach Harendra and his team needs. Both Harendra and Aslam have said what they wanted to. It is better now no further flames are generated. The 18 players in the team, coaching staff and their needs and demands are more important than anything else. Controversies can wait.

Note: The system of selectors, an obsolete practice in the rest of the hockey world, should be dispensed away with in India as well. Seleectors in India are ceremonial posts, by and large coaches select the team, then why this avoidable practice?

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 05 Feb 2009 04:02

More news on the draw

It would be hard to pick a star for India in its 2-2 draw with the Netherlands in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament here. A near-capacity audience saw the home team regroup in time to share the honours at the Sector 42 Stadium. India and the Netherlands, neither deserving to lose today, have eight points each. Earlier, in a match devoid of quality, Germany and New Zealand played a goalless draw. Both teams have two points each.

The untiring Vikram Pillay played his heart out in the middle, attacking and defending with amazing determination while Baljit Singh again showed his tenacity under the bar as India hit back after falling in arrears twice. The high expectations from the match proved misplaced as India and the Netherlands played the waiting game than creating opportunities. The lack of pace in the first half meant there were long spells of inactivity, what with both teams packing the midfield mainly with the intention of plugging the gaps.

With both teams adopting a relaxed approach, goals were bound to come at a premium. The Netherlands did not go all out and spent time in gauging India’s intentions. The home team lacked the will on this day to seize the initiative. This was a match in complete contrast with the earlier encounter when India and the Netherlands had decided to throw caution to the winds. There were a few scoring chances, especially for India. Both came on counter-attacks but Prabhjot Singh, who worked hard right through and Shivendra Singh failed to grab the half chances.

The Netherlands took the lead in the 32nd minute when Jeroen Hertzberger displayed admirable skills to score. Lurking unmarked in the circle, Hertzberger adroitly trapped a long hit in and shook off a lethargic Gurbaj Singh to hammer in with a reverse flick. Tushar Khandker and Rajpal Singh kept the forward line going but a goal remained elusive until the 38th minute when Shivendra slotted in a centre from Pillay. Shivendra managed to put his stick to the ball which rolled in after hitting the goalkeeper’s pads.

The contest improved dramatically in the second session. The Netherlands launched relentless offensives and came close to scoring through Lucas Judge and Hertzberger but failed to get past Baljit, who was outstanding. The Netherlands regained its lead in the 52nd minute through Geert-Jan Derikx, who followed his push from a penalty corner to slam the rebound in. But India hit back three minutes later when Prabhjot connected a long hit in by Sandeep. The Indian goal was under siege for a while but the defence held firm and Baljit proved unbeatable. Thursday is a rest day.

First, on the many different Balbir's who have donned Indian colors

The name Balbir has a glorious record in Indian hockey. Six Balbir Singhs did duty for India, playing in 4 Olympics (3 Golds, 3 Bronzes) and 3 Asiads (3 Golds, 4 Silvers). All 3 Olympic gold medals were won by one person - Balbir Singh Sr. (Punjab Police). All 3 Asian Games gold were won in one Asiad (1966 - Bangkok).

The six Balbir Singhs include Balbir Singh Sr. (Punjab Police) - 1948, 1952, 1956 Olympics (Gold), 1958 Asiad (Silver), Balbir Singh Jr. (Punjab) - 1958 Asiad (Silver), Balbir Singh (Punjab Police) - 1968 Olympics (Bronze), 1966 Asiad (Gold), Col. Balbir Singh Kular (Services) - 1968 Olympics (Bronze), 1966, 1970 Asiad (Gold, Silver), Balbir Singh (Western Railway) - 1968 Olympics (Bronze), 1966, 1970 Asiad (Gold, Silver) and Balbir Singh (Navy).

Balbir Singh Sr., the most famous Balbir of the sextet, speaks to the Hindu. Balbir Singh Kullar was awarded the Padma Shri this year after a loooong wait.

CHANDIGARH: He wakes up to a collage of pictures, all black and white from his personal and professional life, on the wall in front of him. The hockey stick, placed close to his bed, softly transports him to the days when he mesmerised the best of defenders — a shake here and a dodge there, paving the way for him to score. He rarely missed. Today, Balbir Singh (Sr.) hardly watches hockey. His frail figure is a shadow of the athletic frame that he once was when he won three Olympic gold medals as part of the Indian team in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956). That was when India ruled world hockey.

He remembers his playing days and some of his aesthetic moves on the field. Then hockey was an art with skilful strikers weaving past defenders in a flash. “Hockey was such a joy,” Balbir mumbles, recovering from an ailment. Balbir spends six months in Canada and the rest here with his daughter Sushbir and son-in-law, Wing Cdr. M.S. Bhomia. He welcomes us, a small group of sports scribes, “Nice of you to have remembered me.”

His eyes and face radiate the genuine warmth that characterises this ‘grand old man of Indian hockey’, who once needed no appointment to walk into the office of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi. “I could do it because they loved hockey,” remembers Balbir. He wants to say a lot on the sad state of hockey affairs today. He struggles to hide his disappointment but Sushbir does not. “Dad was devastated when India failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. He could not eat or sleep for days. We were worried for him.”

Balbir is worried about Indian hockey. “I am grateful to this game. I am what I am only because of hockey. My first love has always been hockey. My last wish is to see India at the hockey summit again,” says Balbir, who was manager of the Indian team that won the country’s only World Cup in 1975. “Who plays hockey? Who cares for hockey?” are some unanswered questions that pain him. Some time back he visited his college in Amritsar. The hockey field that once attracted hundreds of players daily was in a dilapidated condition, quite like Indian hockey.

Grief is evident on Balbir’s countenance. If only he could pick up the stick from his bedside and race onto the hockey field. If only he could command the players and whip them into a winning combination. Hockey is the sole theme of all his dreams. Though he is 85 now and feeble in physique, he is mentally sharp. He has just authored The Golden Yardstick, a must for every coach and player in the country. He prays for hockey every day.

As we take leave, a thought occurs to us. “Can we have a look at the Olympic medals please?” we ask. Sushbir obliges as Balbir nods. We are indeed lucky to hold the medals. The gold has not lost its lustre. Sadly, the same can’t be said of Indian hockey, the game that is so close to Balbir’s heart.

A pic of Shri Balbir Singh Sr.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 06 Feb 2009 03:02

A profile of Baljit Singh, the goalie in form at the Gold cup

For a man who braves those hard drives with the ball travelling at frightening velocity, Baljit Singh is a man soft to a fault. Hiding behind the protective mask is a young, good-looking player, polite yet firm, one who is willing to take the brickbats in the same spirit as the bouquets. Proud of an encouraging background of kabaddi-loving parents, Baljit’s fascination to this sport was “natural.” Of course, he loved playing cricket in the neighbourhood but he took a fancy to hockey in his school — Guru Gobind Singh School here. One of his batch-mates, Rajpal Singh, is a playing member of the Indian team today.

Baljit’s love for goalkeeping was not natural. “It was an accident,” he says. The regular goalkeeper in a school match could not make it and Baljit “volunteered” to take up the exacting responsibility. He shone under the bar and decided to block goals and not score them as an inside-right, the position he excelled at. Former international Romeo James, now a goalkeeping coach, praises Baljit. “He has amazing confidence and mental strength. I am very impressed with his courage. He stands like a rock as balls fly at him and that to me is his best quality. He looks a natural goalkeeper,” observes James.

Needless to say, goalkeeper’s is a thankless job. Baljit, 28, does not mind. “I hardly get time to think if I am being rewarded or not. My job is to give my best and that is what I look to achieve. I never think of failure; I never think of the future either.” Baljit is honest enough to admit his aspirations were modest. “I just wanted to play, never really thought I would make it this far. Hockey as a profession was never top priority. I just wanted to get noticed and enjoy my game.” He credits his career to Jasbir Singh Bajwa, his coach at the Sector 42 Stadium here. Baljit was 14 when Bajwa saw him first and has been the goalkeeper’s mentor since.

How does he look at his role in the team?

“It is important I do well for the sake of the team. Each man has a specific role to perform. I look at it as if I am doing my duty. Failures or triumphs do not influence my approach. I do analyse my game. Everyone does it. I don’t give up and that is my strong point, I think. I push myself, motivate myself to stay in the race.” Goalkeeper’s is not only a thankless job but a tough one too. “Much tougher than what it was a decade ago,” admits James. The game has evolved in terms of speed and tactics. His anticipation and courage have been the most striking features during the ongoing Gold Cup hockey tournament. And he wants to improve.

The story so far

With two wins and two draws India have virtually made it to the final of the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament. However, the task is not yet complete, as the buoyant hosts take on Olympic champions Germany in the second leg match on Friday. {Not complete till we win this event}

"A win here will provide the necessary impetus before going into the final. "We don't want to break the winning momentum. We will not relax and go full steam in the remaining matches. There is still a long way to go. Germany will be playing for pride and it would not be wise to underestimate any team," coach Harendra Singh said on Thursday. The mood in the India camp is upbeat as there has been a marked improvement in performance along with some help from lady luck in this tournament. A 2-0 win over Germany in the first leg may act as a morale booster but Harendra prefers to be cautious.

"Each match is different and the boys have to begin from scratch. We are going through a learning process and tomorrow's match is going to be another step," the coach said. Up against Germany, who are known for their tight man-to-man marking and rock solid defense, the hosts will need to find alternate ways of scoring. For Germany, the tournament has not been that fruitful as they languish at the bottom of the table with two draws and two losses. Surprisingly, a team whose hallmark is penalty corner conversions and mind-boggling variations, failed to score even a single goal from 12 penalty corners against India and four against New Zealand.

Points tally (after 4 games): India 8, Netherlands 8, Germany 2, New Zealand 2.

S Thyagarajan takes sides blaming ASK initially

That a war of words should erupt between the selector, Aslam Sher Khan, and chief coach, Harendra Singh, at a time when the team is performing reasonably well in the Punjab Gold Cup is unfortunate. Since an inept ad hoc committee came into being, consequent to the suspension of the Indian Hockey Federation last year, Aslam has been an embarrassment to the establishment as well to the players. {Hard hit on the shin, S Thyagarajan, that was needless.} While reports floated that he was miffed at not being made to head the committee, the circumstances leading to his demotion to the role of a mere selector from the post of chairman raised more eyebrows. {That demotion was because Ajitpal Singh started exercising his strong hand, factional rise and fall}

As a former international and a spokesman who lost no opportunity to run down the establishment headed by K.P.S. Gill, after enjoying the perks and privileges with it, Aslam is known for his acerbic remarks. Small wonder, his reported statement about the utility of senior players has raised a storm of protest. Understandably, Harendra Singh is forced to face the ire of the players when the team should be focussing on the task ahead. It is a moot point whether the chief coach should have made such a drama of it all instead of merely ticking off the selector for expressing an opinion unacceptable to him. {Yes, Indian hockey officials have a point of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. When they are players, they swing differently than in later years when they become officials in-charge. HS was in his right to protest, but much of it is media sensationalisation rather than content of whinefest.}

The question that needs to be examined is whether Aslam’s view is out of place in the present context. The argument that seniors have passed their prime is a matter of opinion. The larger issue lies in evaluating the viewpoint. The fact to be stressed is that a team is good only when it is balanced, regardless of the number of seniors and juniors. It is absurd to argue that all seniors are no good and that every junior is worth a trial. In the Indian context, it is too late to build a new team for the next year’s World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

The current performance is largely the reflection of experience and efficiency borne out of long exposure to international competitions. That the combination of Rajpal, Prabhjot, Deepak and Shivendra with mid-fielders like Gurbaj, Vinay and Vikram is proving effective is because of the expertise acquired over the years. So what the selectors and the chief coach should debate must be the efficacy of the team rather than split hairs over the number of seniors and juniors. Subject to fitness, there is nothing outlandish if the coach opts for a fair number of seniors. Interestingly, as a selector Aslam is also part of the current combination.

Looking back, the last time when India had the most balanced squad was under Rajinder Singh (Sr) in the Champions Trophy at Amsterdam in 2003. That team was good enough to claim the trophy. The tragic auto accident involving Jugraj Singh and subsequent clash of egos with Dhanraj Pillay in the wake of the Asia Cup win at Kuala Lumpur ripped apart the fabric that had been assiduously built by the chief coach. The rest needs no repetition. There is a semblance of seniors performing well against formidable teams like Germany and the Netherlands. Beyond noting the positives, slipping into a comfort zone or raising needless controversies will cause more damage than good.

New gora-saheb induced rule changes... The moment some non-gora takes advantage of an existing rule, the old crusaders take umbrage at their majority and skew it back to their choo---giri.

In a bid to encourage free-flowing game, {which is a euphemism for "we want to keep hockey our game, even though you dhimmi Injuns were the first famous team} the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has introduced a new free hit rule on experimental basis which will come into affect from May this year.

"To decrease the number and duration of interruptions to the flow of play and to increase the length of time the ball is in active play, a 'self-pass' from a free hit has therefore been introduced. It enables the player taking the free hit to play the ball again after taking the free hit which will encourage free-flowing hockey," a FIH release said on Thursday. {The point here is this: Injuns dont run consistently whereas the goras do, even the assorted Belgians run back and forth, back and forth, like Duracell. So this stopping interruptions is a ruse to keep those non-runners from catching their breath and running again. The goras win it easy if it becomes more of a running game.}

The release said the revised free hit rule is being brought about to generate more interest for the spectators, but made it clear that it would be reviewed before making it a permanent feature. {My ass, reviewed. With 50 small countries in Oirope -- some the size of my toilet, all of who have power to vote, with one cuntry one vote, what effing review are these bozos talking about. Assume it is passed}

"The hockey rules board of the FIH is concerned that the ball is often played hard, indiscriminately and therefore potentially dangerously into the circle from free hits in the attacking 23 metres area. In future, these free hits must not be played directly into the circle and the game should be as safe as reasonably possible', the release said. {This is to put folks like Rehan Butt and Sohail Abbas (retd) in place. Hockey as such is a dangerous game, so why this sudden concern for humanity? It actually is a FIH worry that whatever chance Rehan Butt has had to impress everyone, he in fact did just that. Hit the ball HARD, HARDER and more harder.}

"They are mandatory because they must be played throughout hockey; they are experimental to show that they will be reviewed after experience before deciding if they become permanent rules. When the full set of the Rules of Hockey is published, small changes to some wording and various additional notes will also added to clarify certain current rules," it added. {to ensure that it remains a game that they know, hickey version 2.0}

For those who dont know
Hickey: 1) A hickey is a spot or discoloration on a press sheet due to specks of dust on a plate. 2) To "look like a right Mary Hickey" was traditional Dublin, Ireland slang for somebody, male or female, who was dressed inappropriately. This term has fallen into disuse.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 07 Feb 2009 19:03

A demolition job by the Dutch, they win 7-1 against Germany. So inconsequential of the Ind-Nzl match, India go through to the final. That means cautionable play in the Ind-Nzl match is a good likelihood.

Goal : A good midfield pass from Prabodh Tirkey, ball inside D, in the melee Rajpal scores at the 5 min mark.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Surya » 08 Feb 2009 21:06

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Tanaji » 08 Feb 2009 21:30


Although cricket related ,this is for you: ... 89671.html

Its a keeper!

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Div » 09 Feb 2009 05:51

Robin Bawa - one of the very few National (ice) Hockey League players of Indian descent.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Singha » 09 Feb 2009 08:35

any confirmation that the english T20 tourney plans cancelled? read something on it

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby ArmenT » 09 Feb 2009 12:36

Div wrote:Robin Bawa - one of the very few National (ice) Hockey League players of Indian descent.

There's also Manny Malhotra of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He joined the NHL with the NY Rangers and later moved on to the Dallas Stars, before joining Columbus.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby dinakar » 10 Feb 2009 08:06

The Netherlands wins Punjab Gold Cup
They came in droves, well ahead of the start, and filled up every inch of space at the Sector 42 Stadium here. The fans were full-throated in their backing of the Indian team and held their breath in the closing moments when India mounted relentless raids to get the equaliser.

At the end of the game, the spectators could only hail the Netherlands for its wonderful show of resilience in winning the Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament with a 2-1 verdict.

India played well but not well enough to win. It took the lead in the 43rd minute but surrendered it in the 46th minute before eventually going down by a 66th-minute goal. Robbert Kemperman and Player-of-the-tournament Jeroen Hertzberger were the Dutch scorers.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Chinmayanand » 10 Feb 2009 19:05

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 26 Feb 2009 02:58

Reviving this thread

Anand loses the 6th round match against Carlsen at Linares. Bad mistake on Vishy's part. Topalov leading Kamsky 3-2 in determining the candidate to meet Anand.

In hockey, the senior team lost to the Oz development squad twice. They even drew the Kiwis in the first match -- whom they beat comfortably back in the Gold cup last week. They subsequently won the second game. Are to meet some development squad in Nzl this week before finishing off the tour with two tests against the national team. Just points that Indian sr team has little experience playing abroad, and getting acclimatized to weather etc. The blame should squarely fall under the old IHF administration. The jr team has a far better exposure now. The srs will take time to get normal. Till then, its up and down. The jr team in the meanwhile lost a super-competitive finals of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh hockey tournament to Bharat petroleum. Mandeep Antil missing the sudden death conversion.

The local administrators are now clamoring for elections to be held and ToI is again acting cranky in sensationalizing crap. The old IHF apparatchiks have been snide in claiming their dues from the new adhoc committee, but when it comes to paying the taxes that are due, guess what, they put the ball in the adhoc court :rotfl:. Buncha jackasses.

In other updates, Sania's climb is boring. Saina's lies against the passport office have nt got her any brownie points from me. Somdev has started losing once the evil eyes of NDTV has been cast upon him.

The sports mantri in name, MS Gill, has proven once again that he has no effing clue about sports. Thats what would happen if someone whose idea of sports is horse-trading is made sports mantri. In his latest puke, MSG claimed that the Indian football team could lose to the 1956 Melbourne olympics semi-finalists. With due credit to the Sailen Manna and PR Goswami-led team, MSG should go get a life. Unfortunately, if MSG had last witnessed sports events in the mid 50s, this is what would happen. He would nt know what our sportspersons do, and he would perhaps know how to spell G-o-p-i-c-h-a-n-d. Btw, did I mention that MSG holds the portfolio of sports and youth affairs and his age is 71. Ok, will finish off with the following: ... 2410936314

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Sports Authority of India on a petition filed by weightlifter L Monika Devi, disqualified from participating in Beijing Olympics 2008 after she was found positive in dope test, alleging that the officials violated the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules. Also issuing notices to Indian Olympic Association, National Dope Testing Laboratory and Weightlifting Federation of India besides the sports ministry, Justice Ravinder Bhat sought their responses by April 2.

Monika, who won the Silver Medal in Melbourne Common Wealth Games 2006, is seeking direction to the sports authority to declare the dope test conducted by the Laboratory of Tokyo on her ahead of the Beijing Olympic as null and void as the officials failed to follow the doping rules. Filing the petition through their counsel P Ramesh Kumar, Monika contended that she had given samples 'A' for dope test, whose result was not told to her but the information was revealed to media. As per the WADA rule, the athlete was entitled to know the result of sample-A within 10 days from the date when the sample was given but she was not informed by the officials, the national champion's counsel said.

As per the rule, the officials should have maintained the sample 'A' result confidential but they revealed the information to media which is against the WADA rule, the Manipur based weightlifter said. Besides this petition, Monika and L Ibomcha Singh, President of All Manipur Tae-Kwondo association, and Dr Thakur Suresh Singh have filed a PIL seeking court's intervention to address the issues related to dope test on the athletes.

In case the athlete wants to challenge the sample A test, he or she has to give sample 'B' before challenging the result, they said. According to the petitioners, the court should direct the Centre to set up a National Sports Tribunal to address the problems of the athletes.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Ameet » 28 Feb 2009 09:28

ESPN did a profile on the two kids from India who are minor league baseball pitchers for the Pirates. Seem like great kids, hope they make it to the majors and realize their dreams.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby shyamd » 04 Mar 2009 04:06

Lalit Modi is in Macao by the way, wonder what he is doing there. Promoting IPL there of course.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Vasu » 08 Mar 2009 01:36

some old hockey news, but not reported here, so i'll post it. India beat NZL in the 4 match test series 2-0. Games 1,3 were draws, and we won games 2,4.


[url=""]Pargat on FIH Hockey Rules Board[/url]

Former India captain Pargat Singh has been included in the Hockey Rules Board of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Pargat is part of the 13-member panel, which has David Collier of England as its chairperson.

Three more Indians have also found place in other committees formed by the FIH. They are S. Thyagarajan (Communications & Information and Technology Committee), Mohammad Aslam Khan (Equipment Committee) and Shakeel Qureshi (Umpiring Committee).

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 10 Mar 2009 02:06

Regular service resumes....


By M.S. Balakrishnan

This article is an analysis of what has gone wrong with the administration of the game in our country by a lover of the game.

The Analysis: K.P.S. Gill rode to power Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president in 1994 on the back of an accomplished, celebratory innings as Director General of Punjab Police. He was unanimously welcomed by the most affiliated units of the IHF, most of whom felt at that point of time that KPSG’s arrival would not only give a big boost to Indian hockey but possibly also bring back its lost glory - more or less as had happened with the morale of the Punjab Police cadre. After getting elected, rewarded his rival, Gufran-e-Azam, by appointing him as Senior Vice-President. This was thus seen as a bold and clever move.

At that point of time, when KPS Gill was to take over the reins of office, India had not
- Won a medal in Hockey at the Olympics for 22 years if one were to exclude the 1980 Moscow Olympics in which Germany, Netherlands etc. had not participated.
- Won a medal at the World Cup since 1975.
- Won the hockey Gold medal at the Asian Games for 28 long years.
- Or for that matter, secured a Top Three position in the Champions Trophy for 12 years

KPSG assessed the situation carefully and announced a slew of measures in his initial efforts to rejuvenate Indian Hockey. He laid stress on younger and physically more fitter players, more international exposure for the Indian teams, more astroturfs in the country as also a new coach (Cedric D’Souza) with new ideas for retaining more ball possession and less individualistic play – all during his first year in office and all based on inputs he had patiently obtained from veteran Olympians and administrators of the game – a fine beginning! India’s fifth place finish (after 12 long years) at the World Cup in Sydney in Nov/Dec 1994 was thus viewed positively in hockey circles.

This was followed by the organization of the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup in Delhi in 1995 with a huge inflow of money into the game from the Sahara Group
(before they ventured into Cricket sponsorship and the introduction of Man of the Match awards. This was again welcomed by players and officials alike and considered a feather in KPSG’s cap, even though the FIH did not approve of the so-called commercialization of the game. Soon after, the Australian team came over to play a three match test series in India and so did the Netherlands national team. KPSG had obviously come in with a big bang.

However the functioning of the IHF (if at all, it functioned) went from bad to worse due to a variety of reasons. Ad-hoc and arbitrary decision making, not holding meetings of the Executive Committee as required by the IHF constitution, frequent change of coaches etc. were unfolding symptoms. The only major redeeming feature was the Asian Games gold medal in 1998 but this was not followed through.

Domestic hockey was given the short shift and the National championships (for which a modified format was worked out by a committee) was held once in 3-4 years. Then came the over-hyped premier league --- in which a lot of money was invested and through which a few officials no doubt prospered – that collapsed under its own weight due to poor planning and execution.

*Mr. M.S. Balakrishnan was former Secretary, Indian Airlines Sports Control Board, 8 players from the Gold medal winning 1998 Bangkok Asian Games hockey squad were from this board when MSB was the Secretary. KPS Gill announced his appointment as Hony. Secretary-General of the IHF after the 1998 IHF elections but retracted when a weeping Jothikumaran pleaded for his continuance. MSB was then accommodated in the IHF as Vice-President, largely a ceremonial post. MSB was also manager for the 1998 Commonwealth Games hockey team.

And read that with the following report:
The eminent Delhi HC has an idea, but our politicians are too oiseaulish for your orders, your honor!

Sports czars must quit after 8 years, says HC

NEW DELHI: Most of them do not believe in handing over the baton. Perched securely as heads of various sporting federations, sports bosses have been virtually unmovable. But maybe not for long. The Delhi High Court has now ruled that the Centre's guidelines on restricting the tenure of office-bearers in sports bodies to two terms should be strictly enforced. Many sporting chiefs, includes several politicians, may have to rework their plans as the HC ruling means that the government funds to these organizations may dry up if they cling to office for more than eight years. The ruling could lead to changes in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as well as other sports bodies.

Disposing a writ petition filed by Narinder Batra challenging the long stint of K P S Gill as president of Indian Hockey Federation, Justice Gita Mittal, in her 157-page judgment, ordered the Centre to look into fund utilization by IHF. Gill was removed as IHF chief almost a year back by IOA which formed an ad hoc body to run the sport in the country. Though the petition focussed on IHF's functioning, the HC did not forget to look into similar stories in other sports bodies including the apex IOA {that has Suresh Kalmadi of course}, which the court said were quite aware of central government guidelines.

Justice Mittal said the associations could not term guidelines as interference in their autonomous functioning. She clarified that guidelines laid down criteria to give wide representation to states in sports administration panels. "It will therefore be apparent that the sports bodies have accepted the authority and competence of the government to lay down conditions and guidelines for eligibility, recognition of a federation or an association as a national level body as well as the manner in which dispensation of funds and state largesse would be effected," she said.

Ruling against a single individual staying as president or secretary of a sports body for years, Justice Mittal said there was every possibility that vested regional biases and interests could influence decision-making, especially selection of teams. "If such a tenure clause is not enforced, office-bearers could be repeatedly elected from a particular region and continue to dominate the affairs of the association/federation after having created a monopoly over the sport," the HC said.

Justice Mittal added, "Vesting the control (of sports bodies) in authorities from a particular region may result in diversion of funds, selection of players from and development of a sport from only a particular region. The national federation would not then remain representative of the hopes and aspirations of sportspersons of the entire nation." The only panacea for this was a limited tenure of two terms as prescribed in the government guidelines. "A limited office tenure will have the impact of minimizing, if not eliminating, allegations, criticism and elements of nepotism, favouritism and bias of any kind," Justice Mittal said.

Read that with the following two reports:
Will Batra go that extra mile, or bogged down? (3/7/2009)

Narinder Batra of Jammu and Kashmir Hockey Association did what others would not have even dreamt of. He filed a case against so called super cop KPS Gill, dared him on very forum. This was at a time three former players who had voting rights in the Indian Hockey Federation dared not to even look at KPS Gill on face in the Annual General Meetings! Now that the High Court has given its verdict, the question that occupies everyone's mind is, will Batra go that extra mile to bring the issues to the logical conclusion?

Batra argued in the court that as per the Government of India's own Guidelines to the National Federations that get its funding, no National Federation is expected to have officer bearers for more than two tenures. Government of India, IHF, Indian Olympic Association -- you can simply say the vicious circle that kills the Indian Olympic sports -- jointly argued that the International Olympic Committee's charter, principles and policies don't allow governments to interfere in the National Federations' autonomy.

Justice Gita Mittal has exposed the folly of the argument with the observation that the IOC itself had restrictions on the terms of its officer bearers. In the 150-page judgment passes no clean chit to KPS Gill's way of running hockey and even dismisses the gold medals won the Indian team in the last ten years in view of the failure to qualify for the last Olympics.

Now Batra can initiate a few more required legal steps to clean up the sports bodies. But, seeing his current unwanted crusade against JB Roy, who is eyeing the IHF chief chair, it seems highly doubtful Batra is needlessly wasting his energy on JB Roy {of the Sahara group, if I may add}, who has mustered enough support for his IHF ambitions. It is strongly rumoured in the hockey circle that Batra's actions right now is fodder for both IOA and the dissolved IHF -- both were his rivals in the case he seemed to have nearly won now -- to wriggle themselves out of the legal tangle. If Batra misses this opportunity that the Court has given, these elements will get away again.

Now dream a situation where no sports federation chief can contest for third time. Most of the ills that plague Indian sports can be remedied if this one change was ruthlessly followed. For instance, when Batra filed this case Gill was contesting for fourth term!! Therefore, it is time for Batra to forget the little things and keep focussed on the task he has taken upon himself.

Will he do for us, in the interest of the Olympics Sports, or bogged down with the unnecessary ego clashes and personal ambitions, is a million dollar question.

History will salute Batra if he chooses to go that extra mile.

Monday is 'Judgment Day' for Indian hockey (3/1/2009) Today is 'Judgement Day' for Indian hockey

Two judgments are likely to be delivered tomorrow (Monday) which might have far reaching impact on the Indian hockey. After almost three years, the case filed by the IHF Vice-president Nainder Batra is expected to be decided on Monday. He filed a legal suit against the then IHF President KPS Gill against his calling of the IHF election a year before it was due. The IHF election was due in 2006, but Gill called for election midway thro' 2005.

In an interim order, the court allowed the election to take place -- which Gurbux Singh organized in Kolkata -- while barring the result from beig announced. Batra contested against Gill for IHF president post, while Dr.Gurdeep challenged then sitting Secretary, Jothikumaran. However, the judgment was so delayed, the Gill faction continued in the IHF till dissolved by the Indian Olympic Association April last year.

Perhaps, the judgment this way could be of academic interest unless it also deals another point raised by Batra -- on the officials holding the Federation posts beyond two terms. This case however was gossiped as a high profile one, former law minister Arun Jaitley argued for Batra, while it was said another high profile advocate came for Gill's faction.

In an interesting coincidence, KPS Gill challenged dissolution of IHF by the IOA. The case did not progress much beyond three sittings / hearings. Tomorrow, the court is expected to give its verdict. This is of topical interest because, inter alia, it was gathered the State Hockey Associations --who have authorized Sahara scion JB Roy to intervene in this case between Gill and IOA -- have filed for the intervention. They will also be heard tomorrow. There is every possibility the court might order for fresh election, which case the hockey turf will be on fire in the days to come. As far as visitors of this site are concerned, watch out this space around 19.00 hours on Monday.

I am no Indy fan, but Go COLTS! :P

Indian team for Johar Bahru 4-Nation announced (3/6/2009) --Press Release

An 18 member India Junior Men's team will participate in the Genting Four Nation Hockey Tournament at Johor Bahru, Malaysia, from 11-15 March. This is the Test event for the Junior World Cup to be co-hosted at Singapore and Malaysia in June this year. Pakistan, Singapore and Malaysia are the other teams in the fray.

The Indian colts have been preparing in all earnest since last year for the World Cup. They won the Asia Cup at Hyderabad in July and followed up with Test series victories against reigning World champions Argentina and European powerhouse Holland in December. They also participated in two domestic tournaments finishing as winners of the Nehru and runners up of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh tournament. The squad also won the silver medal in the Four Nation at Sydney in January this year.

The squad is as under:
Mrinal Chaubey & C.Santosh Kumar (Goalkeepers)
Diwakar Ram (Capt), Innocent Kullu & Sunil Yadav (Defenders)
Birender Lakra, Vikas Sharma, Belsajar Horo, Amardeep Ekka & Manjeet Kullu (Midfielders)
Mandip Antil, Jay Karan, Danish Mujtaba, Victo Singh, Mohd. Amir Khan, Pramod Kumar, Mohd. Asif Khan & Lalit Upadhyay (Forwards)
Officials :

Anupam Ghulati (Manager) {Does anyone remember his commentary? :P}
A.K. Bansal (Chief Coach) {Go coach, let me add}
Clarence Lobo (Coach)
Shrikant Iyengar (Physiotherapist)
Harsha Vardhan Gandham (Umpire)

Tournament Schedule
11 March Pakistan v Singapore and India v Malaysia
12 March India v Singapore and Pakistan v Malaysia
13 March India v Pakistan and Malaysia v Singapore
14 March Rest Day
15 March 3rd - 4th Position Playoff

As if we did nt know that hickey is version 2.0 of the great game that Maj Dhyanchand played.. Do get confirmation here.

No Asian or African in FIH Committee leadership (3/3/2009)

No Asian or African is among the 12 Chairpersons of Committees announced by the FIH today. The New FIH under the leadership of Spaniard Leondro Negre overhauled the composition of various committees, which is officially announced. Two continents -- Asia and Africa - are not represented in the list of leaders of these committees. As only expected, the list is surfeit of Europeans, seven of them, three from Australia and 2 from Pan America.

Since there are so many enlightened Europeans head these committees, we hope hockey becomes a leading sport in Europe at least. Four Indians are in the various committees as members. S. Thyagarajan in the Communications and IT committee, Md.Aslam in the Equipment Committee, Pargat Singh in Hockey Rules Board and Shakeel Qureshi in the Umpiring Committee.

The Complete List of Chairman of FIH Committees
Appointment Committee: Sue Neill (CAN)
Athletes Committee: Renita Garrard (AUS)
Communications and IT Committee: Aaron Sher (USA)
Competitions Committee: Ken Read (AUS)
Development and Coaching Committee: Anne Ellis (WAL)
Equipment Committee: Jean-Claude Le Clef (BEL)
Finance Advisory Committee: Fernando Riba (ESP)
Hockey Rules Board: David Collier (ENG)
Judicial Committee: Don Davies (AUS)
Marketing Committee: Peter-Paul Lathouwers (NED)
Medial Committee: Peter Wefers Bettink (NED)
Umpiring Committee: Ermanno Silvano (ITA)

On the womens side, some good news at last for the wards of MK Kaushik

New Zealand women to travel to India

New Zealand’s Women’s Coach Mark Hager has selected 18 players to travel to India in April for a four nation’s tournament. All 18 players come from the 31 trialists. Of note is the selection of five new caps, Stacey Brannigan, Ella Gunson and Katie Glynn of Auckland, Anita Punt of Wellington and Anna Thorpe of Northland. Thorpe becomes the latest in a very long line of Northland-bred Black Sticks Women’s players.

Beth Jurgeleit, Kate Saunders, Sheree Horvath, Emily Naylor, Stacey Carr, Kayla Sharland, Gemma Flynn and Krystal Forgesson, all Beijing Black Sticks, have been given the chance to reclaim their spots after a disappointing Olympic campaign. Four players have made their way back into the team having missed the Olympic campaign – Clarissa Eshuis, Kate Mahon, Charlotte Harrison and Honor Dillon.

The women leave for India on 22 April and compete against India, Canada and Azerbaijan from 25 April to 2 May. The Black Sticks Women for India are:
Anna Thorpe, Charlotte Harrison, Bianca Russell, Stacey Brannigan, Katie Glynn, Ella Gunson, Krystal Forgesson, Honor Dillon, Gemma Flynn, Clarissa Eshuis, Kate Mahon, Emily Naylor, Sheree Horvath, Kayla Sharland, Anita Punt, Beth Jurgeleit, Stacey Carr, Kate Saunders.

Read the above with the foul mouthed Martin Crowe who could nt shut his derriere completely. ... 091541.htm
Cricket: The Nzl folk are tame, extreme when they mouth their BS esp among the gora lot, so that may make them the mouth-piece for the gora's/WI's collective angst in return for some favors from the paindoo three (Oz, Eng, WI). Shut up Martin Crowe, your days are gone by, and noone wants to see your sorry ass in India.

Same for RicC, shut up. You got ejected cos you were a foul-mouthed neo-Nazi of a coach who would manipulate his wards and play chooo--- level games with the IHF. If you had security fears that led you to leave, that was possibly a tangential concern when you stuck your sorry ass in India for one year. Stop making retarded noise sitting in Oz. How I wish some of these pakis exploded a bum in these oiseaules own backyard, just to shut these idiots up once and for all....

Womens cricket world cup, now that the SL have magically lost to pakis, we may see the pakis in super six. Duh!!

Upbeat India takes on England in women's WC

Sydney (PTI): After spanking arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening encounter, confident Indian eves will look to carry forward the momentum when they lock horns with England in a Group-B match in the ICC Women's World Cup here on Tuesday. The Indian team, led by experienced Jhulan Goswami, started their campaign in style, defeating Pakistan by 10 wickets, and the convincing win will surely add to their confidence about scrapping past the Britons. In Tuesday's match, Indians will want to cash on the experience of bats-woman Anjum Chopra, who is playing in her fourth World Cup, to tame the English bowling attack which consists of Isa Guha and Laura Marsh.

Jeev 36th, Randhawa 117th in golf rankings

New Delhi (PTI): Jeev Milkha Singh remains the best placed Indian at 36th while compatriot Jyoti Randhawa, thanks to his Thailand Open triumph, rose three notches to 117 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings issued on Monday. Jeev hung on to his 36th place as the seasoned Indian prepares to tee off in the prestigious $ 8,500,000 WGC-CA Championship in Miami later this week. For Randhawa, the Thailand Open triumph not only fetched him his eighth Asian Tour title but also helped him jump three rungs from his last week's 120th place.

The $ 79,250 winner's cheque which he collected at Phuket also helped Randhawa leapfrog to the second place in the Asian Tour Order of Merit with $ 244,555 against his name. Among other Indians, Orlando-based Arjun Atwal is ranked 229th while Kolkata pro S S P Chowrasia is placed 364th in world rankings.

Tennis: India bt Taiwan comfortably in the Davis cup and will meet Oz who were last seen huffing and puffing in Bangkok. Lleyton Hewitt blamed a flu for his sorry ass loss to Danai Udomchoke. I am praying for another flu the assies regularly pick when they land in India in May. Bring on all your canned beans like warney did. We wanna see you lose and get to the third round again. For that to happen, we need to get some other bugger to replace Rohan Bopanna, perhaps even Yuki Bhambri even though it may be too young to blood him against Oz. We need two folks with a good chance to win, Somdev has beaten Hewitt and can take him again. But we need the rear to be safe lest we bank on the doubles for a 3-2 takedown. Thats gonna be a risky proposition. Prakash Amritraj was just marginally better than Rohan, but now his appearance is not a possibility anymore. We need fresh blood, Jaideep Mukherjea has similar thoughts, I will presume.

Chess: Anand had a forgettable Linares, finishing on even par 7/14 and shedding 8 ELO points. Same as Sasikiran did before him. Still a huge gap to no. 3... Anand better prepare from now to kick the foul-mouthed Topalov when they meet in September for the WC.

Badminton: The chinese idiots could nt even do a matchfixing properly. As usual, they asked one of their non-top-1 players to give up easily to Lin Dan in the semis of the All England championships so that Lin can conserve his energy for the Malaysian player in the finals. And Rashid Sidek, that veteran player, as well as much of the badminton press could figure the chinese shenanigans so easily. And they have started doing an ack thoo at the chinese. Can this be posted in that sorry-ass thread which is full of propagandooo pics? Like TT and gymnastics, the chinese now want to play their goondagiri in baddi too. Allah ki kasam.... Go Saina Nehwal, Go Anup Sridhar, Go Chetan Anand. There is no solution to this goondagiri than to kick the chinese butts regularly, and hope Saina will start kicking these bummers by the end of this year.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 11 Mar 2009 00:53

FIDE postpones Anand-Topalov WCh match

10.03.2009 – A FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, had decided to postpone the World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov until latest April 20th, 2010, and opened the bidding process. Originally the match was scheduled for September this year. The PB also accepted the bid by UEP to stage the world chess championship cycle 2010-2011.

Even as we celebrate the 8 Oscars to the movie Slumdog Millionaire, two of these to music maestro A. R. Rahman, my thoughts are with a few young kids hailing from near-poverty who went on to make a name on the sports field. An example is Sushil Kumar, son of a bus driver from Boprala village, Najafgarh, New Delhi, who beat the odds to win a bronze in the Beijing Olympics. Indian sport is replete with Sushil Kumars, but only a miniscule few make it to the top; most simply get defeated by circumstances and Indians' apathy for sportspersons other than cricketers.

I spent a few hours chatting up with a young hockey player, Bharat Chikkara, an agile forward who represented India up until last year. I first came across Bharat during the 2007 Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia. The then coach Joaquim Carvalho revealed to me the player's background. Bharat was born in Kanonda, Jhajjar, Haryana, to Sri Jagbeer Singh, a bus conductor who barely earned enough to look after a family of four.

"It was difficult for my parents those days, but as I was keen on hockey, my parents sacrificed everything and sent me to Delhi. I did not have money to even pay room rent, but a friend of mine agreed to share his lodging for free," Bharat recounted. For food, Bharat's father used to make a weekly trip from Jhajjar to Delhi and supply food to his son. That was the boy's sustenance for the entire week as he had no source of income, being jobless. However, Bharat persevered with his solo practice at the National Stadium in Delhi.

"I used to practice alone for many hours. One day, the Indian Oil team came to the ground. They allowed me to join their training, and after watching me, they offered me a job. It was a huge relief for me," said the unassuming Bharat, who went on to script a few fairly tale wins for Indian Oil in the domestic competitions with some stunning goals.

When Indian Oil coach Carvalho took over the reins of the Indian team in 2007, he wasted no time in selecting Bharat as one of the forwards. Although small of build and lacking in strength, Bharat made up with his speed and a sense of opportunism. And now, Bharat is earning enough to be able to support his parents. I have also known quite a few who did not make it.

Many years ago, a badminton playing girl from rural Karnataka, Meenakshi, caught the eye of Prakash Padukone. He was impressed by her potential and invited her to move to Bangalore where his Academy took care of her expenses. Meenakshi's father was a teacher in a government school; for him, badminton was an expensive pursuit. Meenakshi went on to become India no. 2 before fading away. Prakash always felt that rural India was the place to search for talent, but given the system, few of these sporting gems are discovered and nurtured to become champions.

Unfortunately, there is no comparatively easy route to success. They have no opportunity to win contests and become millionaires. Rather, they are born and remain unseen, uncared for and then quickly swept under by India's social and sports system. In this sea of unknown, unseen and uncared for sportspersons, there is one exception that made it to the very top. He is the incomparable Milkha Singh, the Flying Sikh, who came as a refugee to India from Pakistan.

Milkha Singh watched his parents butchered during the horrors of Partition. He is said to have buried himself in a wagonload of dead bodies to escape detection. Once Milkha Singh made it safely to India, he bluffed his way into the Indian army as a sepoy, before emerging as an athlete. He became an iconic sprinter, the best that India has ever produced. Milkha Singh missed an Olympic medal by a whisker at the 1960 Rome Olympics. And today, Milkha is the proud father of India's best and richest golfer Jeev Milkha Singh! For me, Milkha represents the ultimate sporting version of Slumdog Millionaire.

Ever heard of a team running out money and begging for meals and accommodation in an international tournament? That is what happened with the Indian women's u-21 team, which took part in the Australia Youth Olympic Festival that was held in Sydney from January 14 to 18. The Indian women's team had their boarding and lodging confirmed till January 18, the last day of the tournament. But their return flight was on 11 pm on January 19, and the 16-member team, along with manager Sandeep Somesh, did not have any cash either for their stay or meals. Hosts Australia had taken care of expenses for the tournament ending January 18.

What happened next is flabbergasting. The desperate team members had to beg the hotel authorities to allow them to stay for the day. The hotel authorities relented, but gave only one room for the 16 members. As regards food, after running from pillar to post, one of them approached the mess of a local university. After a lot of persuasion, they agreed to provide them with lunch. The mess belonged to the Macquarie University in Sydney.

An incensed Somesh wrote a detailed report to the president of the Indian Women's Hockey Federation (IWHF), Vidya Stokes, and chief coach M. K. Kaushik, in which he pointed out the humiliation suffered by the Indian team. Somesh submitted the report on Feburary 10. When contacted, Somesh said: "Beyond the fact that I submitted a report to IWHF, I am not in a position to reveal anything." When queried, an IWHF spokesperson said that this tournament was not in their calendar, and that they had nothing to do with the tour. If the IWHF had indeed nothing to do with this tour, how did the women's team get clearance to go to Australia without any approval?

If the IWHF did not have a say in selecting the team, then how did the IWHF appoint a manager? And why should the IWHF even accept the tournament report from team manager Somesh? This is not the first time that the callousness of the IWHF authorities has resulted in the suffering of hockey players. One sincerely hopes that such incidents do not recur in the future.

Sundargarh District 3 - City of Kolkata 0 (Artificial Turf)

A new synthetic (poligras) hockey turf has been laid at the SAI Sports Complex in Sankra, Sundargarh. The turf was laid by Jubilee Sports Technology Ltd., who completed the laying of the turf on February 27. This is the third synthetic hockey turf in the district of Sundargarh. The other turfs are at Panposh (Panposh Hockey Hostel) and Rourkela (Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium).

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had approved the Rs. 2.25 crores project in 2007. The base work for the turf began in 2007, and was completed by May 2008. Then began the wait for synthetic turf, which arrived only in November 2008, and subsequently laid by February 2009. The laying of the turf has brought smiles on the faces of the trainees, coaches and officials of the hockey hostel.

P. K. Sarangi, the chief of SAI Sports Complex, was happy with new turf. He said this would help in raising the standard of hockey, and would add confidence among the inmates of the hostels. "The trainees of Panposh Hockey Hostel and the SAIL Hockey Academy in Rourkela used to have an advantage over Sundargarh trainees because of their access to synthetic turf. From now onwards, our boys and girls will also get the opportunity to practice on the synthetic turf", Mr. Sarangi said.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has suffered a loss of Rs 1.88 crores for laying and then shifting an astro-turf encircled by an athletics track at the SAI Training Centre (STC), Kandivali. The project was conceived in 2006. Work started in 2007 before it was stopped after experts pointed out that the water to be used for the astro-turf could destroy the athletics track. The astro-turf was then shifted to another part of the Kandivali complex.

Work that had already been carried out, like the laying of Bituminous Concrete, drainage, sprinklers, pump house, etc., also had to be moved. The shifting of the astro-turf also required levelling of the ground and diversion of an existing road. The end result - an extra expenditure of Rs 1.88 crores, escalation in total cost of the project (Rs. 5.45 crores) and a huge schedule delay in setting up of the hockey ground. The decision has earned it brickbats even from the Accountant General (AG) office in Rajkot. In its audit report for FY 2006-07, the AG said, "It is clear that the said project at STC Kandivali was approved without conducting proper survey/assessment. Administrative approval and expenditure sanction was issued by SAI's New Delhi office despite objections from the Regional Director."

The report also said that the new spot for hockey is unsuitable as it has steep slope on both sides that can result in loss of balls. In these times of economic prudence, profligacy is a crime. Such a wastage of public funds due to improper planning and lack of oversight can happen only in India.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 11 Mar 2009 03:37

Focusing on hard facts instead of tradition, the Indian Davis Cup team have chosen hardcourts over the old favourite grass, for their upcoming tie against Australia. India's non-playing captain S P Misra was in New Delhi on Tuesday to convey the decision to the All India Tennis Association, who will take a call in a week's time on the choice of surface and venue for the Asia-Oceania Group I third round tie to be held from May 8 to 10.

"The players have decided that they want to play the next tie on hardcourts," Misra said, a little after his team defeated Chinese Taipei in a testing away tie. "We had a chat as a team and everybody felt that we should play on the surface Somdev is most comfortable on, and that's hardcourts." Somdev Devvarman, India's No.1, and the hero of the team's win over Chinese Taipei on Sunday, added: "I'm most comfortable on hardcourts as I've been playing and training on them for the last four years. Having said that, we have to take a team decision and play more to our team's strengths than to our opponent's weaknesses."

As it stands, Somdev is his team's biggest weapon. The team will be looking to him to win two singles matches against an opposition led by former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt is now ranked 77 in the world. The Australian No.2, the big-serving Chris Guccione, is ranked 134. Somdev is ranked 150 in the singles, while Rohan Bopanna is 317. The duo will be backed by Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in the doubles.

If the AITA gives hardcourts the nod, it'll be the first time in 30 years that India will play a home tie on a surface other than grass, which has long been the USP of Indian tennis. Interestingly, the last time India played a home tie on a surface other than grass was against Australia in February 1979. The side, captained by the great Ramanathan Krishnan and comprising Amritraj brothers (Vijay and Anand) and Sashi Menon, went down 2-3 to John Alexander's Australia at the Gymkhana Club at Chennai.

The decision to ask for a change in surface for a home tie opens new doors. Delhi and Kolkata have been the favoured venues for Davis Cup ties in the past because of the number of grasscourts they had. Hardcourts will bring in new players like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. Misra has also conveyed to the AITA that the players' choice was Chennai. "We thought about two factors, weather and courts when opting for Chennai," Misra said. "But the final decision is the AITA's."

India, Oz in Davis Cup

The last time India played Australia in Davis Cup was in Sept 2002 in Adelaide, Australia. Australia, led by Lleyton Hewitt, won the World Group play-off tie 5-0. Australia lead the head-to-head 8-3. The last time India defeated Australia in Davis Cup was in the World Group semifinal in Sydney on grass in 1987. Ramesh Krishnan beat Wally Masur in the fifth match to give India a 3-2 win.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 11 Mar 2009 20:43

Even as penalty corner conversions remained a sore point, India managed to retrieve full three points against Malaysia in their first match of the Genting 4-Nation Junior tournament. India won the hosts 3-1. Debutante Victo Singh made his first match memorable by latching on to a rebound in the final moments before the hooter, to pep up the frustrated team’s morale. The team was definitely found wanting in scoring skills, struggling to finish despite garnering seven of the total dozen penalty corners in the first session.

Diwakar Ram converted India’s 9th penalty corner in the 44th minute to give India a 2-1 lead. Three minute earlier, Malaysia made use of their first penalty corner to neutralize Victo Singh’s effort. Tajudin Izwan was the goal tender. Hard working winger Jaykaran finished off a melee in style to put India on the strong pedal. India in all got 12 penalty corners, but Diwakar was off the target many times. Malaysian goalkeeper Adnan Hakim too was at his elements.

Malaysians seemed to have done their homework better, as their first rusher could thwart Indian ace Diwakar’s unifocal middle of the net flicks. Some indirect variation was also tried by India, but in vain. Young Malaysians made some good moves late in second half but the Indian defence stood firm. Malaysia even got three penalty corners continuously without fructifying any.

Chief coach AK Bansal was seemingly unhappy, though he is fully aware of the fact that the new turf was difficult to negotiate. “Well, am happy we won the match, got three points. We could have definitely played better, but in every tournament the first match is difficult one”, he said. Earlier in the first match, Pakistan defeated Singapore 8-0. Captain Abdul Haseem posted four goals. All Pakistan’s goals were throu’ field efforts. India will take on Singapore tomorrow in the first match, while the hosts engage Pakistan in the second.

FIH publishes Rules of Hockey 2009

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has published the Rules of Hockey which come into effect from 1 May 2009. From this date, they will apply to all matches at international level. National Associations have discretion to decide the date of implementation at national level. A starting date is specified but not an end date. FIH will avoid implementing changes to these Rules before 2011 and perhaps beyond. However, in exceptional circumstances FIH retains the right to make changes which will be notified to National Associations and published on the FIH website:

One of the objectives of the FIH and therefore of the Hockey Rules Board is to decrease the number and duration of interruptions to the flow of play and to increase the length of time the ball is in active play. With this in mind, the Rule specifying how a free hit is taken has been reviewed. The player taking the free hit may use a “self-pass”. This enables the player taking the free hit to play the ball again after taking the free hit.

In addition, attacking free hits taken inside the 23 metres area have been reviewed in general and in relation to the “self-pass”. The HRB is concerned that the ball is often played hard, indiscriminately and therefore potentially dangerously into the circle from free hits in the attacking 23 metres area. The 2009 Rules specify that these free hits must not be played directly into the circle.

These revised Rules are referred to as Mandatory Experimental Rules. They are mandatory because they must be played throughout hockey; they are experimental to show that they will be reviewed after experience before deciding if they become permanent Rules. These are the main changes in the Rules. Other small changes to wording and some additional notes provide improved interpretation and explanation of certain Rules. The Rules are provided here on the FIH website. The rules books are currently being printed and will be available in a few weeks.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby MurthyB » 13 Mar 2009 05:54

Thought this is relevant to this thread:

ECB gets b***h slapped twice: BCCI and Stanford

The decision to do a deal with Stanford was partly motivated by political expediency and the desperation to shore up their position against the Board of Control for Cricket in India, according to ECB documents seen by The Daily Telegraph. :twisted:

When the Stanford deal was completed the ECB were in the middle of a political battle with the Indian board over the future control of the Twenty20 Champions League.

The documents confirm that the board hoped the deal with Stanford would ensure West Indies support for England against the Asian bloc that dominates the International Cricket Council.

The confidential document reads: “The deal is in the region of £100 million so it is a substantial income for the game as a whole. The West Indies will be the primary beneficiaries of the matches in Antigua. This will also assist in developing further the political balance at ICC level.”

The ECB knew the political support of the West Indies board would be crucial at the ICC annual meeting last July when they were braced for a key vote on the Zimbabwe issue.

But Clarke’s dependence on the Stanford billions proved misplaced when the ECB were left out of the Champions League deal, and thus the $1 billion the Indian board raised from the sale of television rights. A senior ECB source said: “There wasn’t a good relationship with India, in effect we were falling out with them, and looking for alternatives. One can surmise that if that had not happened, would they have gone down the Stanford route?” :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 13 Mar 2009 06:28

India-Pakistan final on Sunday, rehearsal tomorrow

India ensured the final’s spot with second straight win in the Genting 4-Nation Junior Cup at Johar Bahru. India steam rolled Singapore 12-0 in the first match on Thursday. This second win enabled India to reach the final against Pakistan on Sunday. Pakistan today defeated Malaysia 3-1, the same score of India against the hosts. However, the formalities are yet to be completed, as in their last pool match India will clash with Pakistan, a dress rehearsal of sort.

Mandeep Antil scored five goals, followed by three-goal each by Lalit Upadhyaya and Danish Mujtaba. Lucknow Sports Hostel’s Md. Amir scored a goal. Singapore match was expected to be easy, and it turned out to be easier. Yesterday, Pakistan could scored only 8 goals, while India easily amassed four goals more than their rival to top the pool table. However, India’s penalty corner execution continues to be cause of concern, as not many of them were made use of today also.

Diwakar Ram took the first penalty corner, only to see it hit the top bar and bounce off the circle area. Subsequently, Innocent Kullu also tried his hand in taking penalty corners. Except a rebound connected by Mandeep Antil in the 24th minutes, all other Indian goals were from field efforts. Mandeep in fact posted first hattrick of his career scoring in the 39th 40 and 42nd minutes. India rested winger Jay Karan and Sunil Yadav while reserve goalkeeper Santosh Kumar got his chance to enter the ground from the 25th minute onwards.

Indian scorers: Mandeep Antil (13, 24, 39, 40 and 42nd minutes), Danish Majtaba (10, 49, 59 minutes, Lalit (34, 43, 68th minutes), Md. Amir (36th Minutes).

Pak manager wants Asian Champions Trophy on grass

Replying to a query, Pak manager said that in the West children start play hockey at the early ages, that too on synthetic turf, which is not possible in this part of the world. It is therefore ideal to have some tournaments on grass. “at least for the nostalgic sake”, he quipped. Apart from the turf ground, the main reason for Asians not doing well at global level is due to the absence of competitions. “How many tournaments take place here?” he asked. “We need to organize quality tournaments such as Champions Trophy, we should play more between us as well”. “Hockey on turf is excellent, I don’t deny it, it should go on. But there is no harm if we organize one or two tournament on grass also. Grass has its own charm that none can deny”, he argued.

To dear pak manager: Go play the chinis, India does nt need to play pakbarians to sustain our hockey. The mantra, which may bring de javu to your head is, "We will eat grass if we have to, but we will say no to the paki idiots." Sorry for the apposition at the end of the sentence, btw.
Mithali stars as India books a place in the Super Six

Sydney: Mithali Raj stood tall as India edged out Sri Lanka by 35 runs to book a place in the Super Six stage of the ICC women’s World Cup here on Thursday. India slumped to 78 for seven before an unbeaten 59-run stand for the seventh wicket between Mithali (75) and Jhulan Goswami (24) guided the side to 137 for seven, a total that looked far from imposing.

Fortunately for India, the Sri Lankan batters did even worse as Amita Sharma (three for 19), Rumeli Dhar (two for 10) and Gouher Sultana (two for 16) shone with the ball to skittle out the islanders for 102 in 44.2 overs. India’s second victory earned it a place in the Super Six but its batters looked far from convincing. India had a disastrous start to its innings and by the sixth over slumped to 11 for two.

Mithali, who had contributed 59 out of 169 against England, came to India’s rescue once again and the fact that she hit just one four in her unbeaten 120-ball knock speaks volumes of her grit when wickets kept tumbling at the other end.

The scores:
Group ‘B’: India 137 for seven in 50 overs (Mithali Raj 75 n.o.) bt Sri Lanka 102 in 44.2 overs

Joshna in last four

CHENNAI: India’s top player Joshna Chinappa moved into the semifinals of the $8000 NSC series Tour 8 squash tournament, a WISPA event in Kuala Lumpur, after a hard-fought 5-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 win over Donna Urquhart of Australia on Thursday. In the semifinal, Joshna will play top seed Lauren Briggs of England, who currently is ranked 20 in the world.

Indian Open to be held at New Delhi next year

INDORE: The next edition of the Indian Open ITTF Pro Tour event is likely to be held in New Delhi from March 31 to April 4, 2010. The prize-money will see an increase from the present $30,800 to a “minimum of $50,000” to ensure a stronger field. This will also be a “test” event ahead of the 2009 Commonwealth Games. Since the International Table Tennis Federation is keen that New Delhi and Singapore should hold their Pro Tour events in back-to-back weeks, some of the top-50 players can be expected to join the caravan. Since Singapore will be gearing up for the Asian Youth championship, its Pro Tour event (April 7 to 11) will also serve as a test event.

Foreign coach
According to the Table Tennis Federation of India Secretary General Mr. Mool Chand Chowhan, a foreign coach for the ladies team will be finalised on Monday. “We have short-listed a coach each from North Korea and China and the final decision will be taken in our Steering Committee. Personally, I am in favour of the North Korean coach. But the hitch is that Korean coaches come with an interpreter. We have made it clear to the Koreans that we would only bear the board and lodging of the interpreter and not pay him a fixed remuneration each month,” said Mr. Chowhan.

As part of the preparations for the next year’s Commonwealth Games, the TTFI has hired Massimo Constantini for the men’s team. He took over charge late last month. Presently the ladies team is training under veteran players-turned-coaches Nandini Kulkarni and Rita Jain.

Sticking to script
Meanwhile, the first day of the Indian Open produced a series of expected outcomes. The only exception was the surprise defeats for Nandita Saha at the hands of teammate and National junior girls champion Ankita Das and Belarus girl Natalia Zhyshkovich. In the three player group, which offered two qualifying spots into the main draw, Ankita beat Nandita 11-6, 11-9, 1-11, 1-11, 11-5, 11-4 and went on to beat the rival from Belrus. Now it was for Nandita to prevail over Natalia but that was not to be. Natalia overcame an erroneous streak in the fifth and sixth games to tame Nandita 12-10, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 2-11, 5-11, 12-10 to advance to the 16-player main draw.

In the men’s section where all players from the league were assured of making it to the main-draw, there was not much competitive interest. Sharath Kamal, the Indian spearhead who arrived here late in the evening after taking leave of the Spanish league for this event, felt the players not coming to India have deprived the table tennis fans of some quality matches. “It is not that things have become easy for our players but it is bad for the sport,” he said.

As expected, NSN finally figures that the afridis and the chinis sing the same song...

Not so young

X-ray bone analysis of 15,000 young Chinese athletes shows about 20 per cent have lied about their ages.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby durvasa » 13 Mar 2009 13:42

Stan_Savljevic wrote:Milkha Singh watched his parents butchered during the horrors of Partition. He is said to have buried himself in a wagonload of dead bodies to escape detection. Once Milkha Singh made it safely to India, he bluffed his way into the Indian army as a sepoy, before emerging as an athlete. He became an iconic sprinter, the best that India has ever produced. Milkha Singh missed an Olympic medal by a whisker at the 1960 Rome Olympics. And today, Milkha is the proud father of India's best and richest golfer Jeev Milkha Singh! For me, Milkha represents the ultimate sporting version of Slumdog Millionaire.

Day 1 of 8.5 million CA PGA Tour championship: ... index.html

Tiger Vs Singhs

Jeev Milkha Singh: Tied 1st (T1): -7 with three others
Vijay Singh: Tied 17th: -3
Tiger Woods: Tied 40th: -1

Long way to go still with three more rounds. Tiger is just waking up from year-long slumber. Possibly the best ever start I have seen from jeev in one of the richest Golf tournaments. Has the world's best 80 golfers competing for $1.5mn individual first prize. Jeev was just sublime yesterday. Hopefully he will win or at least come in Top 10 on this Sunday evening.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 13 Mar 2009 21:11

Boy, is ToI dumb or playing dumb. Their newspiece says "India stuns pakisatan 3-1" at the 4nations junior hockey tournament in Johor Bahru. Anyone who has kept a keen eye on Diwakar Ram, Mandeep Antil and AK Bansal's "boys" would nt come up with the word "stun". They would say, "normal proceedings ensured". When will ToI and other garbage wake up from their overnight slumber and understand that this jr team is a world champion team? When the assies tout left right and center, with or minus credibility, about their "world champion" team, why cannot Indians know what their world champion team is what it is. This Indian team will win the jr hockey world cup later in the year in Malaysia and Singapore. You got informed about this event n months ahead.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Ardeshir » 14 Mar 2009 00:58

Stanji, why in your opinion, do our boys find the transition from junior to senior hockey a rough road?
Of course, I understand that the pace, fitness and experience of the senior team will be an entirely different ball game, but if we can be world champions with these junior mujahids, what stops them from being all conquering at the senior level?

From my observations, apart from FIH rule changes in favour of Oiropeans, we have let ourselves down in some areas. Fitness being the most important one. Like the South Koreans have proved many a time, if you can be the fittest team on the turf, atleast some advantages in terms of playing technique and skill can be negated.

Secondly, there seems to be a general lack of tactics and skill development. Even now, we are poor penalty corner converters for example.

The major issues could be tackled in time, hopefully with an IHF which takes inspiration from the BCCI but we should atleast take care of the minor issues which we do have control over.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Katare » 14 Mar 2009 01:20


It would help readers of your posts termendously if you could post the headline of news item with the quotes. TIA


Keep us posted on that golf tournament....seems pretty decent start for Jeev. Last year he won a lot of asian tournaments.

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Re: Indian Sports and Entertainment Industry

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 14 Mar 2009 04:38

Prasant wrote:Stan, why in your opinion, do our boys find the transition from junior to senior hockey a rough road? Of course, I understand that the pace, fitness and experience of the senior team will be an entirely different ball game, but if we can be world champions with these junior mujahids, what stops them from being all conquering at the senior level?

Staying at the top takes hard work and commitment. Both of these come when there is hope. Hope at a better life, hope at better prospects, hope at going from rags to riches, hope in succeeding towards an eventual goal. We had all these hopes prior to 1960 while cricket was a bachha in comparison. All the indicators point to the fact that hockey of the pre-60s is what cricket and Bollywood is today, and IITs were yesterday. There was hope, the creme de la creme came in and poured their hearts and souls, the hoi polloi cherished them and everyone wanted their sons/daughters to become hockey stars.

Today, the Indian system is such that the innocent hope that people harbor at 17-21 melts away when they start seeing the real world. The real world starts with watching the IHF custodians act cranky in team selections, watching these guys with no prior hockey experience reward the players by piling them up 3 (or even 6) to a room after a long day's work out on the field while the managers/administrators of the team end up spending time in a king suite after spending the day shopping, watching Ranji players make 10 times more money in a losing cause than the winning team member of Beighton cup does etc. When they get to the world stage (if they do), they watch the Oiropean and Aus/Nz umpires blatantly violate the ethics of hockey drilled into them by coaches from day one (Dont take a cheap shot on the shin, Dont raise the stick above the head or you are out of the field) and punish them asymmetrically. Disillusionment kicks in aplenty. They feel cheated, lose hope, innocence is gone, they just want to make a living and they could nt give a rat's ass if hockey is fcked.

The buck stops at IHF. So what ails the IHF? There was an article posted here that discusses this very topic in more detail. But my opinion would be: Poor stewardship and unrealistically grand illusions. KPS Gill is a great man, a man who has done many great things for India, a man who needs to be treasured, praised and acknowledged bar his hockey interlude. KPS G started well in the mid 90s, but soon wanted to stick around and wanted to be THE man who changed Indian hockey. Every one of these guys who wants to run the show (Aslam Sher Khan, KPS Gill, Jothikumaran, Subroto Roy, Ajitpal Singh, Pargat Singh, Jagdeep Singh) wants to be THE man who made the change. They think really grand stuff, not something small and achievable in a piece-meal. The goal that gets pitched for IHF elections is this: "India will be an olympic medallist again if I am elected." I have nt seen a statement that reads: "By the end of my term, I will ensure that India is an Asian games finalist again consistently, we will participate in Champions Trophy consistently" etc.

To get the grand things they want, they believe they should stick around for long. At least 10-12 years. Thats a loooong time for a sports administrator. Even though they start with a grand vision, once they stick around, the vision changes. They just want to be THE hockey man that everyone has to pay obeisance to cos they have the grandest aim of all and think others are not as grand enough as them. They are afraid that their vision will be stolen and so they start distrusting the people around them. Thus they want to do everything all by themselves. In the process, they micromanage small things and forget the big picture. They play games to prevent formation of cliques and to put people in their places. The sportsmen are at the end of the stick often. Captaincy rotates hands, coaches rotate hands, support people rotate around. The only thing that is consistent is the chief. Instead of going bottom to top, the development of hockey has been deigned from top to bottom. The common hockey player grows around all this, and like Viren Rasquinha did would rather do an MBA from ISB rather than fight for crumbs. The pipeline leaks from juniors to the senior level. The ones who stick around are the ones who see that despite all the shenanigans the IHF brings in, they stand to gain from being in hockey. Those who see no hope or better prospects elsewhere quits. In short, hockey is not a career prospect in India for a good % of the population. Thats our loss.

From my observations, apart from FIH rule changes in favour of Oiropeans, we have let ourselves down in some areas. Fitness being the most important one. Like the South Koreans have proved many a time, if you can be the fittest team on the turf, atleast some advantages in terms of playing technique and skill can be negated.

Yes, these are all true facts but these have little bearing on why the jrs dont transform to the senior side with consistence and ease. Take the cricket team, do you think the cricket team is far more fitter than our hockey team. Not in my opinion. Cricket is not a runner's game, so that comparison may not be 100% correct, but take tennis. Are Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi far fitter than say, Diwakar Ram, Mandeep Antil and others? Certainly no. We have a level of fitness that biology allows as a race without extraordinary effort/assistance. Even within that, we have many problems. To fix a problem, we need to figure the major loopholes. Once we fix those, we can come down and nudge the minor ones. Fitness etc. are important, but without hope, commitment and hard work, fitness wont come into the equation at all. Money is the key.

Secondly, there seems to be a general lack of tactics and skill development. Even now, we are poor penalty corner converters for example.

True again, but lets not shoot in our feet. If we are poor PC converters, so are most of the teams except for Netherlands and the Sohail Abbas led old pakisatan team. In fact, others are poor even at field goals. Our brand of hockey is famous for scoring field goals and a vast majority of our goals will come from that. PC conversion is important, but just because we dont have a Sohail Abbas or Jugraj in our midst does nt mean its all doomed. Diwakar is doing as well as Jugraj used to in his junior ranks, Sandeep Singh used to be promising and then started focussing on midfield more. Others chip in. Our goalies are great. If there is one region where we fck up truly miraculously, it is in losing focus for a short burst of time. This is not something to do with skill. It is something in the head. Maybe the hockey team needs a good psychoanalyst. I cant believe that these guys are so screwed in the head that they need a major fixing, its just the difference between stars and megastars. There is only an epsilon difference between the major teams. And Indian teams (snr as well as jnr, past as well as present) are not so far off from the top that we have to wail about. Our media has no understanding of hockey, broadly speaking. They cant appreciate that our players are good, they truly are. They seriously have no consistency in terms of opinions, nor in terms of understanding.

The major issues could be tackled in time, hopefully with an IHF which takes inspiration from the BCCI but we should atleast take care of the minor issues which we do have control over.

Well said. Every Indian who whines about BCCI and how they are asss----- etc is scoring a self-goal. Indian cricket and Indian cricketers are rich and famous so that every TD&H can dream and fantasize about such levels of stardom only cos BCCI has been wise in channelizing the players efforts into business deals that are brilliant. The BCCI gets brickbats all the time for deeds and misdeeds, never credit or kudos for a job well done. The IHF needs someone like Lalit Modi Inc.

That said, there is no guarantee that a sportsman with a prior hockey experience will end up being a good manager. Nor is it a guarantee that someone with no hockey experience will end up creating needless mayhem.

Stan, It would help readers of your posts termendously if you could post the headline of news item with the quotes. TIA

Katare ji, let me post a couple of ToI's crap and then take a dig.

India stun Pakistan 3-1, reach final of four-nation hockey

India on Friday pumped in three first-half goals to stun fancied Pakistan 3-1 and set up a summit clash with the archrivals in the final of the Genting Four-Nation Under-21 Hockey Tournament at the Taman Daya Stadium.

Pakistan target India to regain Asia Cup hockey

KARACHI: Pakistan are confident of their performance in the Asia Cup hockey starting in May but feel they will face tough competition from defending champions India. In a bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Pakistan will be targeting India in this May's Asia Cup to be played in Dubai.

First of all, India beating pakisatan is normal course of affairs in both jrs and srs matches these days. In fact, India had reached the final by winning the match against Singapore 12-0. So ToI is causing a needless ruckus about "stunning" pakisatan. Second headline is so dumb. Pakistan targeting India. Who cares? Even Zimbabwe can target India in cricket, does it matter? India are very far ahead of Pakisatan in hockey today. In fact, it should be stunning to me and to the country at large if India loses to pakisatan, in either the snrs level or the jrs level.

ToI has the habit of having a need to create a sensational title or a sensational article in contrast to the realities on the ground. Sometimes they are plain laughable, sometimes they are just deep evil. In fact, ToI has been on record lying and tarring the credentials of passport office workers maliciously, malevolently and mischievously in the Saina Nehwal episode. The problem is that: Many two bit Anglais majors feels that they are good enough to work at ToI or the Hindu and they forget that good reporting comes from a good understanding of the multi-dimensional ramifications of the issues involved and not by alliterating endlessly (like me).

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